A.S. Face 0836: Nickie Morgan

Face 836

Hello. My name is Nickie.  I’m 23 years old; born and raised in the beautiful state of Vermont, and I have Ankylosing Spondylitis.

I first started noticing pain in my lower back when I was in 12th Grade (when I was 17 years of age).  I didn’t think much of it until the pain became almost chronic.  I’ve always been an overweight person so I thought, “Maybe I’m having back issues because I’m carrying too much weight.” So I continued to deal with the pain and every now and again I wouldn’t be able to walk because my hip joint would give out and cause horrible pain.  I went to a pain specialist and he informed me that I have Degenerative Disc Disease.  I guess in the back of my mind… I knew my issues weren’t just that I have DDD, so I did a lot of research online to try and see what might be going on with my back/neck.

My regular doctor sent me to a Spine clinic to see what was going on and it turned out to be Ankylosing Spondylitis.  I was upset to find out that what was going on with my body couldn’t be reversed and that I would be stuck with this disease for the rest of my life. I was however very happy to finally getanswers about what was going on.

Unlike a lot of other people with A.S., I actually show signs of having the disease with the curving and hunching of my posture and spine. My knees, shoulders, neck, hips, and lungs are all affected by A.S. Since I found out that I have this auto-immune disease, I’ve been on the injectable medication called Enbrel which helps tremendously with my pain. The range of motion in my neck/back (looking up, down, and side to side) is greatly affected and makes me sad because I can no longer look up at the trees or sky while walking like I used to.

Ankylosing Spondylitis is a bummer to have to cope with… but just remember, there’s always someone else out there that’s going through the same issues as you; you’re not alone.

Vermont, United States of Amercia

6 Responses to “A.S. Face 0836: Nickie Morgan”

  1. Dear Nickie,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    Sincerely Cookie

  2. You are a brave and wonderful lady Nickie. I’m so happy the Enbrel has helped you…it has helped me a lot too. My life is looking at trees…so I can imagine your anguish…but the flowers in the meadow are beautifull too. There is beauty all around us…and I sense you’ll have no problem appreciating it for the rest of your life. Maybe we’re lucky that way.

  3. Nickie,

    Thanks for sharing your story. Our stories are a lot alike. I also regret not being able to look up at the sky or a beautiful sunrise/sunset due to AS. I also use Enbrel and it has given me some range of motion back as well as pain relief although I have had long periods where I have had to be off the Enbrel due to other infections. Keep up your great attitude. We are sisters in AS !!

  4. Nickie, you are not alone, but you are certainly unique! Thank you for sharing your story. It was quite touching to read how you are reminded of AS every time you want to see the trees and sky while walking in beautiful Vermont. Kindest regards,

  5. Mickie, I too live in Vermont. I moved here about 2 years ago, from Mass. Only sign I show is the way I walk & stand. My left hip has fused. Other than that , it’s constant pain, limited range of motion and how long I’m able to do things. I know my back has partially fused, but luckily in the normal curve of the spine. I also suffer with my neck. And every night I get really bad headaches because of it. It is really upsetting, but hopefully this summer I’m going to find a way for me to enjoy the outdoors more and hopefully do more outside.

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